“Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” (James 1:27)
Doing is so much easier than being, don’t you think?
When I read verses like this one, my immediate reaction is to bake a loaf of banana bread and run to the nursing home.
Yet, there is a balance between the doing and the being. After all, checking things off our list isn’t what gives us kudos with God. Our doing must be an overflow of a life of being.
Think of Simon the Pharisee and the immoral woman (Luke 7:36-39).
Simon spoke his religion with his tongue. The woman spilled her religion from her heart.
Simon said. The woman did.
Although it is not our actions that please Him, real religion should spill over into our actions. Especially in parenting and mentoring, our actions speak louder than our words.
“Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and so teaches others, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:19).
You see – there is a correlation between what we do and what we teach.
So where is the balance? Especially as we influence others?
The secret lies in our focus.
It must be on Him.
Not the orphan.
Or the widow.
Or how icky the world is.
Or even how many “lost” are in it.
If we truly allow His glory to fill us up from the inside out, our every move will radiate Him, no matter what we do.
“If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25).
Focusing our energy upon Him naturally results in:
A deeper love to the most unlovable
A more obvious joy as you do the mundane
A surprising peace when situations don’t go your way
A outflowing of patience as your children make you late one more time
A simple kindness to your children’s acquaintances
An honest goodness when faced with too much change
A steadfast faithfulness towards the commitments you have made
A quiet gentleness in the midst of accusation
A Spirit-controlled self-control when you get a few extra dollars
Your life’s bumps and turns are the school yard in which your children learn. Your present reactions are their future recitations. Make sure they source out of Him, not out of you.
Tell about someone whose actions sourced from Christ not from their own “ought-to’s”: